Champ Trail -
October 3, 2017
In NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway
Ryan Preece scored his 15th career pole as he bested the 27 cars on hand for
the Fall Final. Preece toured the half mile oval in 18.513 seconds. Doug
Coby was second fastest with an 18.520 sec run with Ron Silk at 18.536.
Prior to the start of the festivities the Stafford Motor Speedway and the
Arute family officially retired Ted Christopher’s No. 13. A moving jesture
to say the least.
Eric Goodale established himself as a legitimate member of the Long
Island gang as he won the Fall Final at Stafford last Sunday. Coming from
the 18th position, Goodale knew it would take a stout car for him to travel
to the front in Sunday's NAPA Fall Final 150. When it came down to the final
laps, Goodale had the car he needed to get the job done. The Riverhead, New
York, driver scored his third career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win by
passing Ryan Preece with just three laps remaining. The victory was his
first at the half-mile oval.
"Stafford is one of those places that you dream of winning at when you're
a little kid," Goodale said. "I came up here and watched races when I was a
kid. To be here and finally win a race, we have so many races under our belt
here and we have come close here so many times. It feels good to finally
seal the deal."
Goodale's run to the front of the field after his qualifying effort was
not an easy one. He maneuvered his way to the front and was working the back
bumper of Preece for the race lead in lapped traffic when a caution at Lap
111 set up the final pit stops of the day. Goodale's team went to work to
help get him out at the front.
He took the lead from Lap 120-125, but then lost it and had to follow
Preece in the final circuits. A late move to the bottom of Turn Four got him
the lead with just three laps to g and he never looked back.
Goodale beat Preece to the line by 0.389 seconds. Preece came up one spot
short of sweeping the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Stafford. He
led a race-high 115 laps. Ron Silk finished third, while Chase Dowling and
Timmy Solomito rounded out the top five.
Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Doug Coby, Bobby Santos, Craig
Lutz and Kyle Bonsignore.
Thirteen cars finished on the lead lap as a near full house crowd looked
With just one race left on the schedule, four-time champion Coby has a 10
point lead over Justin Bonsingore in the championship standings. Solomito is
third, 12 markers back, while Preece is fourth, 19 back from the lead.
The NAPA Fall Final 150 will air on NBCSN on Saturday Oct. 7 at 10 a.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track on Sunday Oct.
15 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, where the 2017 champion will be
In other racing at Stafford on the weekend, Taking down feature wins were
Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature and Tyler Leary in the Late Model
feature. Rocco’s victory clinched the 2017 SK Modified® track championship
while Glen Reen became the Late Model champion with a 5th place finish in
the Late Model feature. For Rocco it was win No.45 at Stafford which brought
his lifetime career total to 249. It was his third SK Modified championship
at the track.
Rocco led Chase Dowling to the checkered flag to pick up his second
consecutive win of the 2017 season. Todd Owen finished third with Matt Galko
and Dave Gervais rounding out the top-5.
There were also feature events for its SK Light, Limited Late Model, and
DARE Stock divisions, as well as a feature event for the Mr. Rooter Truck
Series as part of the Saturday NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend
festivities. Taking feature wins were Marcello Rufrano in the SK Light
feature, Cliff Saunders in the Limited Late Model feature, Johnny Walker in
the DARE Stock feature, and Gerald Giordano, Jr. in the Mr. Rooter Truck
Heavy rain washed out all racing last Saturday night at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Next Saturday, October 7th, is the final regular
season race. All Saturday night regular divisions will be running with an on
track pit party which will follow the heat races.
Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway, Tom Rogers
Jr was the 40 lap NASCAR Modified winner. He also sewed up the track
The 67th annual Race of Champions weekend took place this past weekend at
the Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania as part of Presque Isle
Downs & Casino Race of Champions Weekend. The race, which was advertised to
pay $12,500 to the winner, was been changed to pay $13,013.13-to-win in
honor of Ted Christopher, who suddenly passed away recently, with 26
starting position paying $1,000-to-start.
Matt Hirschman made it three straight Race of Champions victories at
three different tracks. Hirschman tied Dutch Hoag with his fifth career RoC
event win. Mike Leaty finished second and was followed by Austin Kochenash,
Eric Beers and Daren Scherer. Chris Pasteryak, the lone New Englander in the
event finished eighth.
On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway
stocks showed modest gains while Dover Entertainment flat lined at 2.05.
Speedway Motorsports went up 0.77 to 21.30 and the International Speedway
Corporation went up 0.45 to 36.00. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage
dropped 0.56 to 55.25 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer)
dropped 0.20 to 18.29 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.68 to
33.25. Two of the three auto makers were up for the week. Toyota dropped
1.46 to 119.17 while Ford went up 0.13 to 11.97 and General Motors went up
0.96 to 40.88. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 3.59 to
163.56 and Lowes went up 1.71 to 79.94. The big team sponsors stocks were
all positive. McDonalds went up 0.77 to 156.68, Coca-Cola went up 6.40 to
215.75, Target Department Stores went up 0.02 to 59.01, Aarons Rentals went
up 4.60 to 43.63 and Fedex went up 5.58 to 225.58.
On the tube this week:
Friday, October 6
1:30 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Charlotte practice, NBC Sports Net
3:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Charlotte practice, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NXS Charlotte final practice, NBCSN
7:00 PM, MENCS Charlotte qualifying, NBCSN
Saturday, October 7
10:00 AM, NASCAR Whelen Modifieds Stafford Fall Final NBC Sports Net
11:00 AM, MENCS Charlotte practice, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NXS Charlotte qualifying, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:30 PM, MENCS Charlotte final practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS Charlotte race, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NXS Post Race, NBCSN
Sunday, October 8
11:00 AM, NASCAR The Decades - 1980s, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:00 PM, MENCS Charlotte race, NBC
6:00 PM, MENCS Post Race, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
Monday, October 9
2:30 PM, NASCAR 120: MENCS Charlotte race, NBCSN
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and
R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.
Phil Smith has been a columnist for
Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
Smith / Champ Trail